Broken Circle, Children of Divorce
Broken Circle – Children of Divorce is a collaboration between me, the photographer, and young adults age 18 to 24, from divorced families who have offered their personal narratives in response to my questions about how their parents’ divorce has impacted them and their thinking in regard to relationships and commitment in their own lives.
Commonly, participants mentioned that “No one’s ever asked me” or “We don’t talk about that” or “I want to tell my story.” Their written statements moved back and forward in time, each one a revelation of the life-altering events and memories before, during, and after their family breakup.
Given the opportunity, this population has poignant, often painful and illuminating observations to share: personal life experience that may help others. My experience with Broken Circle participants indicates these children have grown into insightful, concerned and aware young adults, well on their own paths—albeit more cautious, less trusting.
50% of American children will experience the breakup of their parents’ marriage. Close to half of these children will also go through a parent’s second divorce. Although a vast number of books, studies, and guides focus on divorce and its aftermath, sadly absent from this mix are resources focusing upon those individuals finding themselves in the crosshairs of divorce: the children.
Broken Circle – Children of Divorce is not pro or con divorce, but a poignant look at reality and consequences when parents’ focus on the children is not kept as a priority before, during and after the divorce. Parents who divorce, or stay together, “for the sake of the children” need only spend time with these Broken Circle participants to realize that divorce and its implications are never simple. The photographs are both straightforward and nuanced; the more we read in the words, the more we see in the portraits. They are interdependent texts, just as children are with their parents (and vice versa).
Go to brokencircleproject.org to view the video interviews with professionals and read the comments from legal and mental health professionals discussing the importance of the Broken Circle project.
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